Since the 1940s there’s been a decline in the number of marriages, with many more men well into their 40s clinging to their bachelor lifestyle. It’s safe to assume that more men are trading in serious commitment for a lifetime of freedom. How as women can we be conscience of men’s fears of commitment and make commitment seem less of an horrific thing to the men we date? By examining what makes men shiver when they hear the word “commitment” and looking at what we can do to ease the fear, we’re better able to understand why monogamy may be becoming less and less prevalent in society.
Losing their freedom. Men think that as soon as they commit, football Sundays are gone forever. Every man needs time to grow into being able to articulate his needs to the woman he loves. Finding a partner who will honor his need for a dopamine fix with the guys is essential to helping him understand that commitment does not, in fact, mean losing the things in life that you love. Make sure you date men who understand what an interdependent relationship looks like.
One sex partner FOREVER. This is equally as scary for women. However, as primal creatures, we’re drawn to people based on attraction. Men are scared that the wild, crazy sex you have with them in the beginning of your relationship is going to turn into missionary and begging for it after a year. To ease this fear, try to keep things spicy on a regular basis.
Losing his personal space. Your man really likes his decor, but it’s not your taste. It’s important not to come into his space and change things around. This also means that if he likes to watch ESPN naked on his couch late at night, let him. This is his domain, not yours. When it comes to moving in together, compromise is key. Let him keep his individuality!
They’ve had bad experiences in the past or know men who are unhappy husbands. Everyone has had a nightmare dating experience before, so it’s safe to assume he has too. Controlling, jealous women are usually the ones who ruin the dating experience for men. If you remind him of his crazy ex or his best friend’s nagging wife, chances are there will be no talk of commitment or monogamy.
Nagging. Men don’t want another mother. Telling him that he’s not doing something he should be doing isn’t going to change how he feels. Only use positive reinforcement such as “Babe, it made my day when you planned that dinner date for us and took care of everything.” This is a more effective way of telling him what you like without nagging.
Lack of compromise. Compromise is KEY. If you want to go to a musical but he hates sitting and watching people dance around and sing for hours, tell him you’ll be more than happy to go with him to a baseball game (or something you aren’t into). Who knows? You both may enjoy yourselves outside of your comfort zone! If a situation arises where no compromise can be reached, flip a coin and leave it to chance. When you leave things up to chance, there’s less resentment on both sides.
Lack of free time. Let him hang out with his friends and work on projects alone. He needs time to feel he still has his own life outside of dating you. Have you heard that absence makes the heart grow fonder? Well, it’s true; so let him miss you! If you’re a cool enough girlfriend to allow him to do what he wants, when he wants (within reason), he won’t have a reason not to commit.
None of his friends are committed. This one is the kicker. If all his friends are single, he’ll be swayed by his friends to stick with that lifestyle. We’ve all heard friends discourage relationships for one reason or another. Men don’t like to see other men fall into the dreaded relationship rut, so they’ll do everything in their means to keep him single.
Women are deemed the “complicated” sex, but in today’s dating world things have gotten more complicated for everyone, including men. Keep things simple and make sure he doesn’t feel his freedom is being compromised by dating you. When in doubt, give him some time and space away from, well, whatever you’re doing (dating, sleeping together, casually dating, etc.)–and this will ensure that his commitment-phobe side will be eased! Happy dating!
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